Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Time Tunnel (2002 Unaired Pilot)

Today on Far Future Horizons we present an unaired TV pilot film that was a remake of Irwin Allen’s 1960s SciFi television series The Time Tunnel.

The Time Tunnel was a 1966–1967 U.S. colour science fiction TV series, written around a theme of time travel adventure. The show was creator-producer Irwin Allen's third science fiction television series, released by 20th Century Fox and broadcast on ABC. The show ran for one season of 30 episodes. Reruns are viewable on cable and by internet streaming. A pilot for a new series was produced in 2002, although it was not picked up.

In 2002, Fox showed interest in remaking this series. A pilot was produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television, Fox Television Studios and Regency Television in association with Irwin Allen Properties. Executive Producers were Kevin Burns and Jon Jashni. Sheila Allen was credited as one of the producers. It was not picked by Fox, in order to make room in its schedule for Joss Whedon's Firefly.

The new series had a much much darker, serious tone. Doug Phillips (David Conrad) is the main character, and Tony Newman is now Toni Newman, a female minor character. 

In this remake, the (21st century) Time Tunnel is a Department of Energy research project into "hot fusion", which produces nearly limitless energy. When they initiated the reactor (an event not shown in the episode), it caused an unintended "time storm". For four hours—240 minutes—the time storm was uncontrollably whipping around in the past and changing history. The DOE was able to anchor one end of the storm by using the Tunnel like a lightning rod.

Reality changes due to the time storm:

There are some notable differences between the series world and the real world:

  1. Traffic lights use red for "go" and green for "stop" while yellow retains its meaning.
  2. There are 49 states in the USA. The title sequence shows New Jersey disappearing and the territory being divided between New York and Pennsylvania.
  3. The title sequence shows the USSR winning the race to the moon as the American flag dissolves into the Soviet flag.
  4. The New York Yankees are now the Boston Yankees.

 This unaired pilot is avaiable on DVD from "UNCLE ODIE'S" COLLECTIBLES.

This pilot film showed lots of promise and its extremely unfortunate that this classic television series was never revived.

The Time Tunnel (2002 Unaired Pilot)
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